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3-5 Month Gross Motor Milestones

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Hi everyone! I have been doing a series on my Instagram page on gross motor milestones. It is broken up by month, and I have shared ways to play at each month as well to promote motor milestones. These are only guidelines for typically developing children, meant for educational purposes, and there are ranges for every major milestone. If there is a month that your child isn't doing EXACTLY what it says they should, don't worry! Every child is different and unique, and as some children start walking at 12 months, others don't start until 17 months! Here are motor milestones for 3-6 month olds.

If you would like more information on each month, head on over to my Instagram page and check out my story highlights, where I provide even more info by video and ways to play at each month!

**This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy from them, the price will be the same for you, but I gain a small commission from you purchasing through my link! Thanks in advance for that :)

3 Months

Tummy: on their tummy, they will start propping one their forearms to get some more extension in their head and trunk. Their legs may be flexed and externally rotated, looking like a frog position.

Back: able to roll to their side, and also able to bring their hands to the middle to grab a toy or rest them on their belly/chest.

Sitting: looks about the same as last month and their head may still bob because they are trying to hold their head up but not quite strong enough yet. Again, I don’t recommend this until you see good head control and they are able to prop themselves up with their hands.

4 Months

4 months of being a mama, dada, caregiver!! This is a fun month for your baby!

Tummy: on their tummy, they will start propping on their elbows instead of forearms, meaning their elbows will be under the shoulder at this point. Their head will lift well and stay in the middle.

Back: when pulled to sit, your baby should tuck their chin and their head should not fall backwards anymore. They may start reaching for their knees, and they might start rolling tummy to back. Often times this is accidental! If they are on their tummy reaching, sometimes the weight shift allows them to roll. They will learn to control and perfect this roll later.

Sitting: if you place your baby in sitting they will maintain with support at the trunk.

5 Months

Tummy: your baby may start to push up onto their hands and straighten their elbows on their tummy! You may also see them reaching. If they drop back down to their elbows to reach, that is also okay 👌 If they look like they are swimming on their tummy, they are learning coordination involved for reaching, weight bearing, and eventually crawling!

Back: your baby may start to bring their feet up to their mouth, which you may think is gross, but it’s an AWESOME core strength activity! They also may start to roll from back to tummy.

Sitting: yay! Finally time to practice! If you put your baby in sitting, they will sit with support at their pelvis. If you do not provide support, they will sit by propping their hands on the floor in front of them.

Popular Toys at this Stage

Activity Gym

That's right! I'm still a HUGE fan of the activity gym here. It is great to weight shift and reach for hanging toys while on the tummy, and when they are ready to prop sit, its great for reaching in sitting, too! You can also use the prop pillow on the baby's lap to improve posture in sitting, as well.


These are some of my favorite rattles. I like these options because they are easy to grab! The O-ball is great for one or both hands, and the Smartnoggin is good for one hand.

I love foot rattles to promote bringing hands to feet! Check out these awesome little socks you can put on your baby's feet and have them reach for!

Boppy Pillow

A boppy pillow is a MUST at this stage! I like the actual C-shaped one and not the one that's "filled in" in the middle. Let me tell you why- you can use it for SO much longer! You'll use it even when your baby is learning to sit! The poppy can be used to prop them up during tummy time, especially when your kiddo is a little more tired and needs a boost to get them through! Please, please, please get a poppy pillow! You won't regret it!

Head on over to my instagram page (linked in intro paragraph) and check out my highlighted stories for even more ideas at this age. If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for 7-9 month old skills!

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